I will have a fuller article posted later (and maybe a podcast or video), but I felt the need to get this thought out: Films do not kill people. Why must this be said? Because article after article makes it sound as though the Muhammad Film is responsible for protests, violence, and murder.
Whatever one thinks of the film (and it looks deplorable to me), the film has killed no one. The film will not and cannot kill anyone. The violence does not stem from the film. The violence stems from Muslims who do not like the film. They are offended by the film. They do not have the right to destroy property and commit murder based on that fact. Would anyone have considered it acceptable for Christians to riot and kill embassy officials in response to The Last Temptation of Christ? Instead, that movie got rave reviews and was nominated for an Oscar. No Christian stormed an embassy. And no one would have approved if he had.
Why, then, is it quickly becoming an accepted meme that this Muhammad film has led to protests, violence, and murder? The film did not do that. Muslims did that. To put the blame on the film–and even on Terry Jones, the Florida pastor who threatened to burn a Koran–is to appease violent people out of fear of them. In other words, it is cowardice.
UPDATE (September 19, 2012)
According to this story, even the White House is now having to admit that the attacks in Libya had nothing to do with the movie trailer for Innocence of Muslims. It was pre-planned attack using heavy artillery. The U.S. policy apparently was to “minimize” our presence there so as not to incite violence. Thus, our Ambassador is dead. Clearly, the movie is not to blame. It’s incredible how error spreads like a prairie fire.
Update Two: According to the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, the film had absolutely nothing to do with the attacks in Libya.